by Webmaster
Published on Jun 30, 2016

Leading with authenticity is the best way to gain credibility with your team and to inspire people to fulfill the mission of your hospital's case management program. Authenticity is what continually separates great leaders from those who fail.


Until I read Bill George's book True North, I hadn't heard of the expression applied to leadership.  I only knew True North as a constant point on a gyro-compass which is not affected by factors like magnetic forces or location. But as an article in H&HN points out, innovative strategies in response to constant change are possible when transformation leaders use "true north as a compass that guides their organization from its current condition to where they want to be and provides the foundation for their strategies."  According to George, who was CEO of Medtronics and is now a professor at Harvard Business School, True North is a powerful value proposition summarizing what an organization stands for and how it differs from competitors.  

According to Paul Schilstra's H&HN March 23, 2016 article, an effective true north "inspires physicians and employees to deliver better, safer and more affordable services while compelling patients to seek health services at that organization instead of a competitor. The Triple Aim — care better than we have ever seen, health better than we have ever known, cost we can all afford ... for every person, every time — should make for a compelling true north."

Regrettably, most health care organizations don’t have a clear and compelling value proposition. Its also true of most case management programs.  But those programs with passionate leaders drive their program strategies measured in terms of the outcomes they achieve. The use of True North by the case management program leader helps program associates stay focused on key priorities while ensuring alignment with the goals of the organization during execution of new strategies.  Case management  programs that have kept pace with the rapidly changing marketplace, can break down their True North into three or four dimensions.  For example, ProMedica Monroe and Kankakee's Riverside Health measures its True North on the basis of advocacy, safety, quality and financial stewardship. It is operationalized by having care managers work with selected patients and their physicians to make sure the patient isn't exposed to any clinical or financial risk; by questioning the efficacy of medical interventions that appear to be contrary to the patient's or family's preferences or evidence based protocols; and by making sure that ordered interventions are not wasteful, excessive or potentially harmful; and having utilization review specialists positioned at Access to coach, counsel and advise physicians on the most appropriate venue for their patients to receive the care they need. 

The power of True North intangibles is what should guide hospital care managers.  It should explain why we do the things we do and motivate all of us to do better.